Ruff Figural Fluency Test (RFFT)

  • Purpose: Nonverbal measure of initiation, planning, and divergent reasoning
  • Application: Ages 16 to 70 years
  • Administration Time: 5 minutes (60 seconds for each of the 5 parts)

The RFFT was developed to provide clinical information regarding nonverbal capacity for fluid and divergent thinking, ability to flexibly shift cognitive set, planning strategies, and executive ability to coordinate this process. The RFFT was designed as a nonverbal analog to popular verbal fluency tests that require respondents ages 16-70 years to generate as many words as possible starting with a specific letter.

Materials include the RFFT Professional Manual and the RFFT Test Booklet. The Test Booklet consists of five 60-second parts, each with a different stimulus presentation. The task is to draw as many unique designs as possible within a set period of time (60 seconds) by connecting the dots in different patterns. In each part of the test booklet, the five-dot stimuli are presented in 35 contiguous squares, arranged in a five square by seven square grid. Analogous to the different alphabetical letters that are used in verbal fluency tests, the 5-dot stimulus configurations are different in three parts of the test. In the other two parts, distractors are added to the dot configurations.

Responses are scored for the total number of Unique Designs drawn. The Perseverative Errors score represents the repetitions of the same pattern drawn by the respondent. The Error Ratio is an index for assessing the respondent’s ability to minimize repetition while maximizing unique productions. Qualitative strategies, such as rotation and enumeration, also can be assessed.

The updated RFFT Professional Manual provides normative information as well as a review of validity studies and recent research. Demographically corrected normative data based on a sample of 358 healthy, normal respondents are presented for four age groups and three education levels. Performance on the RFFT has been shown to be temporally stable; studies to date support the construct validity of the RFFT as a measure of initiation, planning, and divergent reasoning.

More about the test materials and ordering information can be found on the publisher’s website.



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Ruff, R.M., Evans, R.W. and Light, R.H. “Automatic detection vs. controlled search: A paper-and-pencil approach.” Perceptual and Motor Skills 62, 407-416. (1986)

Ruff, R.M., Evans, R. and Marshall, L.F. “Impairment of verbal and figural fluency following traumatic head injury.Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 1, 87-101. (1986)

Ruff, R.M., Light, R.H. and Evans, R.W. “The Ruff Figural Fluency Test: A normative study with adults.Developmental Neuropsychology 3, 37-51. (1987)

Vik, P. and Ruff, R.M. “Children’s figural fluency performance: Development of strategy use.Developmental Neuropsychology 4, 63-74. (1988)

Ruff, R.M., Allen, C.C., Farrow, C.E., Niemann, H. and Wylie, T. “Figural fluency: Differential impairment in patients with left vs. right frontal lobe lesions.Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 9, 41-45. (1994)